Crawley welcomed a member of the Royal family today (Tues 8th May) as HRH The Countess of Wessex visited the town to officially open the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters.
Arriving by helicopter at Hazelwick school, the Countess was greeted by the head girl and boy before travelling by car to the new headquarters where she was welcomed by staff and local leaders.
With the sun shining the Countess was greeted by a large number of staff from the new HQ, all of whom had waited patiently in the hot sun.
After greeting and chatting with several local dignitaries the Countess was then taken on a tour of the new facility where she was able to speak to numerous staff about the complexities of their job.
Staff began moving into the new building in May 2017 with staff from the Trust’s former EOC in Lewes the first to relocate. EOC colleagues from the Trust’s former site in Banstead in Surrey moved to the new building in September.
The moves provided greater capacity across two EOCs and ensured SECAmb is better placed to manage current and future demand.
It also meant support services were brought under one roof for the first time since the formation of SECAmb in 2006 with the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance services.
The centre, with SECAmb’s other EOC in Coxheath, Kent, typically handles more than 2,000 calls every day.
The new EOC is home to some 250 staff with a further 250 support staff based on the floor above.
999 calls are answered by emergency medical advisors non-geographically across the Trust’s two EOCs. Ambulances are dispatched locally from each EOC.
A team of clinicians are also on hand in each EOC to provide advice and support to patients and colleagues.
SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said:
“I’m delighted that our new EOC and HQ was officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex and I pleased to be able to show her around the EOC and introduce her to staff.
Given the significance of the tremendous work which goes on in the building and in particular in the EOC itself, it is appropriate that it receives this high-profile official opening.
“While it was important that we moved to the new building and the benefits it brings, I want to pay tribute to all the staff, across every department and role who are working tirelessly day-in, day-out to help our patients.
Without them, of course, this is just another building. With them, and their dedication and professionalism, we are a service which saves lives and helps people every day.”
Crawley now has even more electric charging points
In a bid to encourage more people to move away from petrol and diesel Crawley Borough Council has added more charging points in the town.
Electric and hybrid car owners in Crawley can now charge their vehicles easier than ever, thanks to new rapid charging points in the town centre.
Crawley Borough Council has installed four 22kw charging points on level two of the Town Hall multi-storey car park.
The charge points are free to use (parking charges apply) and it is hoped that they will further encourage a shift away from petrol and diesel use.
In 2017 more than 1,000 vehicles made use of the charge point at the front of the Town Hall and numbers are rapidly increasing.
Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, Councillor Geraint Thomas, said:
“More and more people are switching over to electric and hybrid vehicles in an effort to be more environmentally-friendly and bring down the cost of motoring.
“These charging points are a great addition to the town centre and I have no doubt that they will be very popular with the town’s electric vehicle users.”
For more information about Crawley’s electric car charging points www.crawley.gov.uk/electricvehicles